Are you fond of drinking liquor or alcoholic beverages? Do you feel like it would help you relax and solve problems?
What Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy Is
Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart condition caused by abuse of alcohol, most especially when it is long term as it weakens and causes the heart muscle to become thin, resulting to failure of the muscle to pump blood and depriving the body tissues of oxygen. This could also lead to other health problems or death. Alcohol cardiomyopathy is a form of a heart muscle disorder called dilated cardiomyopathy.
This type of heart disease affects both men between 35 and 50 years of age and women who have typically smaller body sizes and drink less alcohol.
Alcohol abuse can possibly affect many internal organs, most especially the heart, by causing physical and chemical change in one’s body. There are several ways in which alcohol abuse can affect or damage one’s heart, such that the damaged heart muscle fails to pump enough blood which then causes the heart to enlarge in order for it to hold extra blood.
Abuse of alcohol can also cause the blood pressure to increase and further stress the heart and blood vessels , causing further damage to the heart muscle , valves as well as the blood vessel itself due to overwork.
A person with this type of heart condition is likely to experience symptoms like a rapid and irregular heartbeat, swelling of legs, an enlarged liver, cough (producing a frothy, pink mucus), rapid and irregular pulse, fatigue, weakness, dizziness and fainting. Worse, alcoholic cardiomyopathy could result to congestive heart failure and death.
A person with alcoholic cardiomyopathy may be asymptomatic at the first place or would not even experience the symptoms until the disease gets critical. During physical examination, a patient’s pulse and blood pressure are being checked first before listening to his or her lungs and heart.
Signs of congestive heart failure that can be detected by a doctor during examination are swelling of the vein in the neck, swelling of legs, ankle and feet, enlarged heart, sounds of congestion in the heart and lungs and sounds of heart murmur due to valve damage.
Though lab tests may not be that useful when it comes to diagnosing this type of heart disease, they can help check or look out for damages in a patient’s other body system and organs and these tests involve liver function, cholesterol level and blood chemistry.
Diagnostic imaging tests such as echocardiogram, ECG, chest x-rays, and catheterization are also being done to examine a patient’s heart and lungs.
This condition may be partially reversible if the condition is being treated properly and when the patient completely abstains from alcohol use, giving room for recovery. This depends on how long the patient has been using alcohol and how much is being consumed. However, if the heart is already damaged, the prognosis for complete recovery is poor.